Saturday, April 26, 2014

Norwin Game Knights Event - Savage Worlds Weird Wars Rome - Appian Slay

Weird Wars Rome - Appian Slay!

Journal Date:  Summer, 71 BC


- Andy as the Decanus 
- Brian as the Hunter
- Dodie as the Face
- Craig as both the Ox and the Tough Legionary
- Melinda as the Eager Recruit


The armies of Spartacus and his generals have fallen, and despite his overwhelming success in battle, the Roman general Marcus Licinius Crassus had his victory marred by the political machinations of his rival Pompey Magnus. When the latter claimed celebration for accolades not earned, Crassus took out his anger on the living remnants of the slave army, executing them and placing them on display along the Appian Way.  Following the battle, many of Crassus' men were required to maintain order along the road to Rome.  Amongst these men were the Third Cohort of the First Legion, nicknamed the "Keepers of the Dead".  The Third Cohort was charged with watching over checkpoints between Fregellae and Teanum, operating out of the fortified town of Catella to the south.  Rumors were rampant that after the Battle of the Siler River, even though over six-thousand slaves were crucified along the Appian Way, and another five-thousand captured and re-enslaved by Pompey, three-thousand escaped slaves fled the battlefield led by Agron, one of Spartacus' generals.  A powerful general in his own right, the Romans feared that Agron could lead a guerrilla war against nearby towns and villages. 

The Decanus had been seriously injured during the Battle of the Siler River, and was busy with his Conturbernium (eight man tent group) finishing up a watch over the southernmost checkpoint between Fregellae and Teanum.  Nursing his sore leg, which was impaled just four days earlier at the battle while successfully fighting off a trio of rampaging gladiators, the Decanus was ready for retirement and had settled in for the night at the campsite.  His orders were clear: report back to his Centurion  Appius Lucullus, if any sign of Agron and his escaped slaves appeared near the road.  But when evening rolled around, and only five of his soldiers returned, the Decanus became concerned.  The Hunter, Face, Ox, Tough Legionary, and Eager Recruit managed to make it back, but no one had seen or heard from the Medicus or Marius Lucullus since early afternoon.  Since Marius Lucullus was the sixteen year old brother of the Centurion, the Decanus decided to put a search party together.  The Hunter, Eager Recruit, and Tough Legionary all returned to the checkpoint on the road.  

The Hunter picked up the trail of a pair of legionaries moving northwest and off of the road into the woods.  Since this had to be the Medicus an Centurion's Brother, the scouting party followed the trail to a tree that the two lost legionaries must have used as a target for knife throwing.  Figuring that they had moved fairly far away from the road, the Eager Recruit climbed a pine tree to get a better look around.  There on the road, a couple hundred yards to the west, were two bodies clad in legionary armor lying on the ground and several armed figured surrounding them.  Once the Hunter was notified, he moved quietly through the tall grass to reconnoiter the scene.  But when the Hunter finally got a good look, his blood ran cold.  The Medicus and Centurion's Brother were both lying on the ground.  The armed figures were gladiators, but they looked pale and horrifying.  The Hunter's eyes shifted from the battle scene to the nearest crosses: they were empty!  The gladiators of Spartacus had somehow come back to life and removed themselves from the crosses!

The Hunter let out a horrifying screech and started running back to the rest of the patrol, with seven undead gladiators close behind him.  As soon as he reached the Tough Legionary and Eager Recruit he only had enough time to give them a quick description of what he had saw, and then the three were all running together back to the Decanus.  The chase through the grass was harrowing, and one of the gladiators almost managed to capture the Hunter with his net, but the three did make it back to the checkpoint.  Luckily for the scouting party, the Decanus had heard the Hunter's scream and brought the Ox and Face back to the Appian Way.  The Decanus called for his five remaining soldiers to form-up, and so each man turned and faced the oncoming undead gladiators.  The escaped slaves were armed with tridents and nets, curved knives and bucklers, and three had just the nails still jutting out from their hands.  But the Romans were a truly armored force: each man, adorned in lorica segmentata (scale mail) had a scutum (large shield), pair of pila (heavy javelins), and a gladius (short sword).  The legionaries peppered the undead gladiators with pila, and even though creatures appeared incredibly durable, three of them fell to the javelins.  When the remaining four engaged the Romans, they quickly met their final demise at the end of a gladius.  

The Decanus rallied his men and moved north to were the Medicus and Centurion's Brother were lying on the ground.  Both were alive, but the Medicus was barely hanging on.  The Eager Recruit, a farmer by trade, tried to heal the Medicus using skills gained during the birthing of cattle and was marginally successful in giving the dying Roman a few more minutes of life.  The Medicus said that the two of them wandered away from their post due to boredom and that the Centurion's Brother had been swimming in the river when it had turned to blood.  Hastily making their way back to the Appian Way, the two were met by the escaped slaves returned to life.  The Medicus denied any attempt to save his life and return his body to the rest of the Cohort at Catella, but told the Decanus that the Centurion's Brother, who remained unconscious, needed to be saved.  

Seeing that the rest of the crosses on the road were also abandoned by their dead, the Decanus decided that the trail to Catella was too dangerous, and instead led his team on a three hour off-road trek through the hills to the town.  He ordered the Eager Recruit and the Ox to carry the Centurion's Brother on a make-shift stretcher, and the Hunter and Face to carry their comrades' shields.  They made good time blazing a trail with the Decanus at the front of the party lighting the way with a torch.  Halfway to Catella, the party encountered the Sacco River, which could now be called a "river of blood."  Hoping that the blood was some kind of wine, as the Face unexpectedly exclaimed was very likely, the team waded into the shallow river and started to cross.  When pieces of viscera and chopped flesh started to bump into the characters' waists they were nearly overcome with disgust, but it would be the swirling mass of Hate that came out of the water that would be the party's next true obstacle.  The massive conglomeration of dead gladiator souls started to surround the party, all except for the Decanus due to his lit torch.  The party members that were engulfed by the hate went berserk and started to attack their own teammates until they shake off the odd effects.  The Decanus realized that his torch had kept the Hate at bay, and that regular weapons could not harm this monstrosity, and so he charged into the dead mist waving his flame.  This broke up the Hate and gave it pause, enough of which so that the Decanus could command his team to continue across the river.  By now the Hunter, Tough Legionary, and Eager Recruit had all created torches while the Face cheered the party on giving them comfort.  Using the combined might of four torches the Hate was completely dissipated and the team continued their maneuvers toward the town of Catella.

When Catella came into view it was clear that all was not well.  Undead gladiators had slain much of the population within the town's fortified walls, as the gates had never closed.  The only sounds now came from the arena which was situated just outside of town on the southern end.  There, seventy-two undead were being pelted by javelins and arrows from peltasts and skirmishers atop the arena's wall.  The party stowed the Centurions Brother in the bushes nearby and made contact with a trio of Greek Auxilia.  The peltasts told the party that the Centurion was inside the Arena but had no way of getting out.  He had at least fifty men inside with him, however, but most were armed for hand to hand combat and the doors were completely barred by dead and swarming gladiators.  The Face remembered that there was a sewer system below Catella, and that it connected the walls of the town to the Arena.  using her Dolabra to lever the grate from the side of the wall, the party moved into the Arena and gave the Centurion relief at last.  

For their deeds the Centurion promoted the entire party to Decanus and gave each a Conturbernium to command.  The Centurion said that several hours ago the slave general Agron had entered the town with a summoned army of the undead.  Agron must have gained access to some sort of spiritual powers of his ancestral German lands, and was now at the center of the town surrounded by his dead brothers and sisters.  The Decanus and Centurion devised a plan.  The Decanus would sneak his new units into the sewers and erupt out of the center of town near the square where Agron was doing his dark rites.  The Ox, Face, and Eager Recruit would each lead their units into the center of town in a Tortoise formation.  The Tough Legionary and Hunter would lead their units of peltasts and velites to the walls where they would rain dead upon the already dead with sling stones, arrows, and javelins.  

The last battle was an epic victory for the Romans!  The core force, in defensive formations, were able to punch straight through the center of the town due to their own tactics, and the accuracy of the peltasts and velites on the walls.  Many of the undead gladiators never even got a chance to engage the oncoming Roman "tanks."  Once they did reach the center of the town, the liberating force of Romans met with the Decanus' team, which successfully used the sewers to flank Agron's guard.  The general of Spartacus didn't even have a chance as thirty-two Roman Legionaries charged him and brought him down in a bath of blood, violence, and Roman victory!  


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